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Top Performer for Wednesday

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Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (SWHC) is one of the top-performing Zacks #1 Rank companies today with shares that are up more than 7%.

Fueled by an increase in consumer demand for its handgun and tactical rifle products, SWHC announced solid fiscal third-quarter results earlier this month that included year-over-year advances in EPS and sales.

The company earned 5 cents per share in the quarter, reversing a year-ago loss of 4 cents. Analysts were expecting only 2 cents, accounting for a positive surprise of 150%.

Meanwhile, net product sales jumped nearly 26% to $83.2 million, versus $66.1 million last year. Total firearms sales moved higher 27.5% to $78.5 million, including an advance in pistol sales of almost 46%.

SWHC's hunting business is being negatively impacted by the economic downturn, but the company continues to selectively invest in the business while focusing on reducing the cost structure.

Over the past month, earnings estimates for this fiscal year, ending April 2009, are up 33.3%, while expectations for next fiscal year, ending April 2010, advanced 13.8%. Analysts currently expect a 65% jump in profit for next fiscal year over this fiscal year.

SWHC is 1 of 2 firearms companies on today's Zacks #1 Rank List; the other being Sturm, Ruger & Company (RGR - Free Report) .




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